Thermodynamics of strongly coupled repulsive Yukawa particles in ambient neutralizing plasma: Thermodynamic instability and the possibility of observation in fine particle plasmas

Totsuji, Hiroo
July 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Jul2008, Vol. 15 Issue 7, p072111
Academic Journal
The thermodynamics is analyzed for a system composed of particles with hard cores, interacting via the repulsive Yukawa potential (Yukawa particulates), and neutralizing ambient (background) plasma. An approximate equation of state is given with proper account of the contribution of ambient plasma and it is shown that there exists a possibility for the total isothermal compressibility of Yukawa particulates and ambient plasma to diverge when the coupling between Yukawa particulates is sufficiently strong. In this case, the system undergoes a transition into separated phases with different densities and we have a critical point for this phase separation. Examples of approximate phase diagrams related to this transition are given. It is emphasized that the critical point can be in the solid phase and we have the possibility to observe a solid-solid phase separation. The applicability of these results to fine particle plasmas is investigated. It is shown that, though the values of the characteristic parameters are semiquantitative due to the effects not described by this model, these phenomena are expected to be observed in fine particle plasmas, when approximately isotropic bulk systems are realized with a very strong coupling between fine particles.


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